How to use systems to find more freedom
When I first started freelancing on the internet, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. It took me a year of 14 hour days to take my freelancing from a side hustle to full-time and another year to stop wondering if I should just get a job as a barista at the local coffee shop.
It was like an insane roller coaster that I loved and then hated and then loved and then hated a little bit.
But, once I had experienced the freedom of doing things my own way and not answering to anyone - I effectively became unemployable.
Giving up was simply not an option. I was determined to protect my new found sense of freedom at almost any cost.
I was interviewed for a podcast the other day (I'll keep you posted when it comes out) and we got to chatting about adulting. She mentioned that she sees me as very adult because systems are the most responsible adult thing she can think of.
But, the truth is - the better my systems are, the more freedom I have to NOT adult.
Example #1: Daily tasks.
As I've mentioned before, absolutely every single to-do I have in my life lives in Asana and I have a system for managing those tasks everyday. Because my system handles all my tasks for me - I don't spend any time or energy thinking about things I need to do.
Example #2: Client on-boarding.
I've recently started using Dubsado for new clients (you can try up to three clients on the trial with no time limit). It allows me to set up workflows that trigger certain actions at appropriate times. So, a client signs a contract that triggers a welcome email and a deposit invoice and each week a weekly report is generated. When the project is over, a wrap up email is triggered and then a nurturing sequence kicks in to make sure I'm following up regularly with people I've worked with. Because it's mostly automated, it frees me up to do other things.
I know systems can seem tedious and restrictive but when you find systems that work for you - it's exactly the opposite.
Do you have any systems that you're proud of? Do you have any systems that have allowed you to reclaim some time or sanity?
Do you have an area of your business that you're dying to systematize but just haven't been able to get to it?